Meet Ryan Greene, the Osteopathic Physician who has created a scientific approach to health and wellness with Monarch Athletic Club. As the newest member of the melin Family, we caught up with him on his revolutionary practices and how he's prioritizing health for the new year.
Tell us about yourself - what got you into medicine and fitness, what do you currently do?
My name is Dr. Ryan Greene, I practice sports medicine, preventive medicine, and integrative medicine. I originally trained in surgery, in orthopedics, with the goal of being a team physician for a major sports team. I quickly realized those individuals are doing that as a voluntary endeavor, they don't get compensated, for a bunch of medical and ethical reasons. But also that the surgical space, although I was able to help a ton of people, wasn't the lifestyle that I wanted to live. My philosophy was always, I want to help people to participate in whatever activities they want to do for as long as they want to do them. When I got into the residency training programs and was going through that, I just realized most people that come to the hospital, one... it's not a place to heal, two... it's not very pleasant, three... you don't really have time to help people learn what they need to do to make the long-lasting lifestyle changes that will allow them to be active and live a long and healthy life. So, once I did what I needed to do in those programs I had a crisis of conscience, I was basically like, Alright, well, I love cutting people, I love doing surgery but this isn't where I can see myself long term; my mentors are burning out, they're leaving the field, so what do I do? I switched into academia, I went and did a research fellowship at Mayo Clinic. All the while I was thinking of ways like, well, how can I bring my interests of health, medicine, movement, nutrition, recovery, all those things into one spot. That was the genesis of Monarch. I just didn't have the funding or the team to execute it. Serendipitously, one of my colleagues who already lived in LA, he was a well-known trainer, he and some of my now partners were like, "We want to create a high-end sports performance facility, how do we take this and separate ourselves from everyone else." So, it was at that time, my passion, my idea, and their motivation to open up a new kind of training facility merged together and we created Monarch Athletic Club.
What is Monarch Athletic Club and why is it different from other health clubs?
Monarch Athletic Club is a one-stop-shop for health and wellness. We’ve brought together preventive medicine, physical therapy, strength and conditioning, nutritional counseling, and then, just a sense of community. We're unique because we're the first fully medically directed health and wellness medical facility that includes all those aspects in a subscription-based program. Because we are medically directed, we're considered a medical facility, members have the ability to have part of their membership or all of it, just depending, reimbursed by their insurance program. It doesn't feel like you're going into a doctor's office or a clinic of any kind, it feels like a higher-end health and wellness facility. That being said, our program is built off of a medical platform and we layer in evaluation, metrics, objective and subjective performance markers in the fields of not only medicine but physical therapy, nutrition as well as movement. It’s the first concept that you can actually be reimbursed for investing in your health.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Do you have a routine that you stick to?
For anyone, no matter who you are, what you do, where you live, your body, your mind, will function better when you stick to a routine. I have a pretty regimented schedule. The typical character of the activity, I guess you could say, varies from day to day. But for the most part, I'm very regimented. So, other than sleep, which I'll self-discipline in that arena, in the sense that I don't sleep enough and I know that. But I try to get to bed every night around 11:30 pm or midnight, I'm up at 5:30 am, I get up, I drink 30 ounces of water with sea salt, apple cider vinegar, squeeze a lemon, and MCT oil. I work out from like 6:30 to 7:30 am and I'm in the office by around 7:45 or 8. At that point, I'm seeing patients or doing whatever needs to be done from the Monarch side or my concierge practice. And then I usually get a light sweat in around 6:30 or 7 at night, just because I'm tired of sitting all day for the most part. And that literally is just to allow me to get some fresh blood flow, get a little endorphin rush. And then I'll usually work until around 9:30 or 10 pm, go home, brush my teeth, read, and then rinse and repeat. I also intermittent fast. So, I do a 14 hour fast every day so I usually eat my first meal around 11 am and then my last meal around 9 pm. And other than that, I’m in such a groove, I know exactly what I'm putting in my body, and how much in terms of the macronutrients. I'm not a huge macro guy but I know that the quality of my food is diverse. Lots of fruits and vegetables, high in protein, not high in simple carbohydrates and I make sure I drink at least three to four liters of some sort of mineral water a day. And that's pretty much it, pretty straightforward.
What does the next five years look like for you?
My first priority is to see at least three to four more brick-and-mortar Monarch Athletic Clubs, in either development or fully functional. Launching those in new markets and also, having our virtual platform launched and fully functional. I'd love to be a homeowner somewhere on the west side of LA. And I also have a nonprofit that is in the process of launching called the Montana Project, which is essentially this idea that, movement, nature, being able to detach and reset, is one of the most important things that someone can do to heal. Initially the target is kids from low socio-economic areas, basically allowing them to experience life outside of their world, something that's completely different. One... to take them away from things that may be trying to hold them down. Two... expose them to worlds that they may have never believed existed. And also, reward them for doing the right thing. That just is going to require a little bit of capital and the ability to secure the location. So, for the next 5 years, those are my big, big targets.
"When something bad happens to you, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you." - Theodor Seuss Geisel
Favorite book or books?
So my favorite book is The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer. The book that I've read most recently that are super impactful for me is one called That Will Never Work; The Birth of Netflix by Marc Randolph. I think anyone who wants to start anything needs to read that book. Lastly, Manuscript Found In Accra, that's by Paulo Coelho. He also wrote The Alchemist. Those are the ones that have been most impactful for me because they kind of constantly remind me that no one really knows anything. If you think you’re in control, you’re already behind.
What advice would you give to people who want to get into healthcare?
If you're not completely passionate about what you're doing, whatever that is, don't do it. Because you have to truly, truly love helping people. It can't be for money, prestige, or clout. You have to be willing to give everything that you have to the patients that you work with. I'm in no way discouraging people from going into it, just kind of giving people an idea of it. It requires a lot from you for a lot of your time. So, don't jump into it just because you think it would be cool, do other things, try other fields. And then if you keep thinking about I want to go back into medicine, want to help people, then do it, harness that passion, and go. Just ask questions because ultimately the way that we're going to grow together and heal people is if you have folks that are insanely passionate about what they do, not just there to collect the paycheck.
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